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Lethal Pathogens of Ectothermic Vertebrates

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2015

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  • First book devoted to ranaviruses, DNA viruses causing mass mortality in fish and amphibians
  • Cutting edge topic with both conservation and economic significance
  • Multidisciplinary volume that brings together the foremost ranavirus experts from the fields of ecology, conservation biology, microbiology, and veterinary medicine
  • Includes supplementary material:

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Table of contents (8 chapters)


About this book

This is the first book on ranaviruses. Ranaviruses are double-stranded DNA viruses that cause hemorrhagic disease in amphibians, reptiles, and fish. They have caused mass die-offs of ectothermic vertebrates in wild and captive populations around the globe. There is evidence that this pathogen is emerging and responsible for population declines in certain locations. Considering that amphibians and freshwater turtles are suitable hosts and the most imperiled vertebrate taxa in the world, ranaviruses can have significant impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem function. Additionally, many fish that are raised in aquaculture facilities and traded internationally are suitable hosts; thus, the potential economic impact of ranaviruses is significant. Ranaviruses also serve as a model for replication and gene function of large double-stranded DNA viruses. There is an urgent need to assemble the contemporary information on ranaviruses and provide guidance on how to assess their threats in populations. Through the Global Ranavirus Consortium, 24 experts from six countries were organize to write this volume, the first book on ranaviruses. The book begins with a discussion on the global extent of ranaviruses, case histories of infection and disease in ectothermic vertebrates, and current phylogeny. Basic principles of ranavirus ecology and evolution are covered next, with a focus on host-pathogen interactions and how the virus emerges in its environment. There are two chapters that will discuss the molecular biology of ranaviruses, host response to infection, and the genes responsible for immune system evasion. One chapter establishes standards for testing for infection and diagnosing ranaviral disease. The book ends by providing guidance on how to design ranavirus surveillance studies and analyze data to determine risk, and discussing the role of the Global Ranavirus Consortium in organizing research and outreach activities.


“Matthew J. Gray (Univ. of Tennessee) and V. Gregory Chinchar (Univ of Mississippi) have compiled a comprehensive and thorough treatise on ranaviruses, an understudied group of viruses that infect fish, amphibians, and reptiles. … This book is an invaluable source for wildlife biologists seeking to understand a potentially important group of viruses and for virologists interested in knowing about the impact of these viruses in the natural world. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners.” (M. S. Kainz, Choice, Vol. 53 (3), November, 2015)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Center for Wildlife Health Dept. of Forest, Wildlife, and Fisheries, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA

    Matthew J. Gray

  • Department of Microbiology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, USA

    V. Gregory Chinchar

About the editors

Dr. Matthew J. Gray serves as Associate Professor for the Center for Wildlife Health at the University of Tenessee Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries. He is the Director of the Global Ranavirus Consortium.

V. Gregory Chinchar is Professor of Microbiology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. He serves as Honorary Advisor to the Global Ranavirus Consortium.

Bibliographic Information

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